Non CO2 methods

kshafer

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Oct 26, 2011
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Thanks Bill. I was hoping a dirt guy would chime in. After 4 years is the gravel still on top of the soil or does it become mixed over time?
 

aquabillpers

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kshafer;75079 said:
Thanks Bill. I was hoping a dirt guy would chime in. After 4 years is the gravel still on top of the soil or does it become mixed over time?

The gravel stays on top of the soil. It doesn't mix in with it. Note that it is 2mm to 3mm in diameter.

BTW, in other long-term soil tanks that I've torn down I've noted that the cheap topsoil that they were started with had become a clay-like substance. nothing like the original. I don't know what that is or why it happened, but there was little if any clay in the original soil. Maybe someone who reads this can shed some light?

Good luck!

Bill
 

aquabillpers

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I'm not sure that there is a standard, but a lot of people use it. Others report good results with finer or coarser gravel. I think the fine gravel impedes the movement of fish droppings to the soil layer, and the coarser gravel permits the soil to get into the water column and /or makes it more difficult for the plants to attach to teh substrate, but " . . . you pays your money, you make your cherce."

That 2mm-3mm gravel is also called "builder's gravel" and "blasting gravel". It can be hard to find in fish shops, and is very expensive there, but local builder's supply distributors have it for a few dollars for 50 pounds.

Good luck!

Bill
 

Tom Barr

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aquabillpers;75089 said:
The gravel stays on top of the soil. It doesn't mix in with it. Note that it is 2mm to 3mm in diameter.

BTW, in other long-term soil tanks that I've torn down I've noted that the cheap topsoil that they were started with had become a clay-like substance. nothing like the original. I don't know what that is or why it happened, but there was little if any clay in the original soil. Maybe someone who reads this can shed some light?

Good luck!

Bill

All the easier to oxidize materials, peat, bark etc, was chewed up slowly.......leaving nothing but clay.
 

aquabillpers

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Tom Barr;75130 said:
All the easier to oxidize materials, peat, bark etc, was chewed up slowly.......leaving nothing but clay.

OK, thanks.

The volume of the "clay" looks to be about same the as that of the original soil (which did not show "clay" as an ingredient), so I guess some kind of a chemical reaction took place?

Since the original nutrients in the soil have been eaten, does that mean that the plants are totally dependent on fish waste and other detritus? If so, those fish are real fertilizing machines!

Bill
 

Tom Barr

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aquabillpers;75142 said:
OK, thanks.

The volume of the "clay" looks to be about same the as that of the original soil (which did not show "clay" as an ingredient), so I guess some kind of a chemical reaction took place?

Since the original nutrients in the soil have been eaten, does that mean that the plants are totally dependent on fish waste and other detritus? If so, those fish are real fertilizing machines!

Bill

The finer sand an silt is still there, and likely some new stuff from above entered in, dead plant material etc.....they work their way down into the clay layers.
 

tlyons01

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Jan 7, 2012
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I am posting here in hopes that someone still reads through these and answers when they can. I feel over whelmed by all of the information that I am constantly looking for each day concerning planted tanks and the required setups. Maybe I am trying too hard, and in turn confusing myself with what my intended setup is going to require. I am looking for vague advice, meaning that I am so lost with the chemistry explanations that I hardly grasp right now what all of it means, bottom line. I want to understand them more, and I will, after I get the rest of it. I have 2 tanks that I am converting/using for plants. I still have plastic caves and decor and what not, so I guess its not a true NPT. My first tank is my large 42 or 46 gallon bowfront. The dimensions are 36x16.5x21. I have about 3 inches of pool filter sand. I recently purchased a T5HO 2x36 watt with 6500k for both bulbs. I have it sitting on top of the glass. I currently have water wisteria plants and a little floating, 2 anubias nana which are going to have to be relocated to another tank cause I think they are getting too much light, a marimo ball, 2 swords, jungle vals, also some pennywort. I have moved these plants back and forth and they are settled in finally. I got a new few stems of wisteria and an argentine sword, with them someone sent me osmocote pellets with instruction to freeze and use that way etc. I have only used root tabs in the past, recently tried using flourish comp. I stopped because my wistera have all developed browning at the edges of the leaves on most of the old growth, my vals, though sending out runners, are pale and brownish and my swords new leaf growth is very pale. I have started to look into which nutrient deficiency these things mean. I have stopped. I was advised to do 50% wc weekly. I have been, though this leads me into more questions about tanks being too clean. I have 6 corys, 6 rasboras, 2 guppys I want to rehome, 30 something guppy fry that are being donated to a turtle tank at some point, and 5 ottos. What I am looking for in my tank setup, is no scaping, just sorta planted. I would like to add more fish, overstock it if I can, with schooling fish etc. As far as maintenance, the easiest would be best, but I can handle water changes. I have 5 tanks total so it's not like I can escape the task completely anyway. I do not know if I should be using Excel or not, as I understand there are plants that are sensitive to it and vals would be one of them. I am waiting on an order of new plants, should be here next week. Will contain 20 dwarf sag and 10 vals as well as banana plants, but those will be going in the other tank. My tap water is very hard in our area, so should I be softening the water too? And what nutrients should I be considering adding? What would anyone recommend? To clean, not clean, change water or not weekly, add stuff and which stuff, change lights, raise them? These are the things that I cannot figure out for my setup, I am so. I am desperate for some guidance..
My other tank, is a 10 gall, with hood housing 2 mini CFL 13 watt 6500k. PFS substrate, 4 baby cory and a betta. 1 argentine sword and some wisteria. Is this considered a medium light setup? I had not thought much about what I was doing with this one, just applied what I read about larger tanks to it, ie the lighting. Could someone please, please layout some kind of guide that could address my situation that is easy to digest? I am all over the place here, and I apologize for that. I was trying to ensure any needed information was there


I have developed an eye twitch and I think I am turning into one of those crazed beast women that go insane in cartoons.... Therese
 

jerrybforl

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For starters I would try and break up your posts with more paragraphs. That way we can see what you're talking about. It's so jammed in there it's really hard to read especially on longer posts like yours.

I have about 3 inches of pool filter sand.
This is a little deep for sand. It builds up bacteria that can harm your tank.

I recently purchased a T5HO 2x36 watt
This should be plenty of light for that tank.

osmocote pellets with instruction to freeze and use that way etc.

Yes you can use these. Lots of ppl on here use this product but it's the Osmocote+. You must make sure thats the one you have. O+ has more micros in it than the others. Here is a thread I started with the same questions.... http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/9127-Osmocote?highlight=

Out of all these, all I see is lights and ferts. There isn't anything on CO2 that I can see. From the tanks I see and the amount of light you have I think you should have CO2. Excel, DIY, pressurized or something. My honest opinion I think you have too much light.

I have a 75gallon with low-med lighting no CO2 and haven't started ferting it yet with very good growth and no algae. You just have to balance the light, ferts, and CO2. Use the appropriate plants as well. You can keep stems but try to keep ones that grow fast. I have rotala indicia, broad and narrow leaf ludwigia, and bacopa monnerii for steams and they are doing fine.

Hope this helps...
 

tlyons01

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Jan 7, 2012
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JJ thank you for answering me, I am sorry for jumbling it all together. The kids constantly break my train of thought, and I type/talk the same way I think, scatterbrained.

So for lights, would I be better off raising what I have a few inches?

I am willing to try using Excell, I am not excited about getting a Co2 system, I don't even know what all that entails yet. I have seen some DIY set ups with jugs and hoses everywhere, and I just cannot set mine up that way. My kids would be all in that type of stuff.

3 Inches is too deep, I was under the impression that since I was getting rooted plants, they would need that in order to root properly. I will consider taking some out. When I get the new plants next week I will need to re arrange the tank anyway..

So if I use excell, I need to do weekly water changes, is that correct? And I would need to use ferts too, or is that optional if I increase the fish amount for their waste and food?

You have been extremely helpful, and I am so grateful that you took the time to read and answer my rantings...
 

tlyons01

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Jan 7, 2012
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To add, I did forget to mention CO2 in my first mess of questions, thank you for bringing it up. I am getting ready to research using excel and CO2 now that I am home for the night... I had my wattage incorrect too, its actually 2x39 watts. I never imagined I would be getting too much light, I was so focused on having enough. I will wait on the ferts information and take things slower.

Again, thanks
 

Pilaarbijter

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May 20, 2011
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Tom,

I've been running a 25L nano (startup phase, no plants) and now the time has come to plant the aquarium.
I'm thinking about filling it up densly with hairgrass only, will that suffice for the biomass present?
The tank is bought especially for one betta and I'm not really planning of putting other fish in it.

Oh, and as for the light, it has a 3w LED fixture. I assume letting the light on for 8-10hours with this wattage shouldn't be an issue, right?

Regards
Ruben
 

Tom Barr

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The DSM method works very well for foreground type plants, then you fill it later.
Not sure the light will work though.
 

Pilaarbijter

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May 20, 2011
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You mean that the light won't be strong enough then?

EDIT: based on your article, i should be looking somewhere between 10-14watts then?
 
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aquabillpers

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Watch your plants. If they aren't thriving, increase the light a little. If they are growing too fast, decrease it.

I use about 2 WPG of T12 or T8 light for 11 or 12 hours a day. My tanks are heavily planted with no significant algae problems (now). ;)

Bill